Blame It on Paris!
What is it about Southern writing that lends itself so well to humor? Though I’m originally from New Jersey and not the South, I so often find myself howling through Southern authors’ descriptions of zany relatives, bizarro neighbors — people I swear I recognize from childhood. Only their in-print versions are much funnier, and I don't have to restrain myself from choking anybody.
Here’s one with an especially compelling twist. Laura Florand’s Blame It on Paris begs the question, “what does happen when you put a small-town Georgian in Paris and a handsome, sophisticated Parisian in small-town Georgia? Especially when two huge families, one French and the other American, decide it’s up to them to further this romance. The Parisian’s family wants Laura to learn how to prepare snails, while Laura’s family keeps serving Sébastien Mad Dog 20/20 (LOL!) as good wine. How will true love survive?”
What a combination of settings, and Florand’s bio describes a woman qualified to pull it off, calling her “a native of the Deep South who began traveling the world when she was seventeen, backpacking solo through Greece. She went on to win a Fulbright to Tahiti and then to study French literature at Duke University. In addition to the year in Tahiti, she has lived in Madrid and Paris. Now a senior lecturing fellow at Duke and a new mother of one, she divides her time between North Carolina, where she also leads a Tahitian dance group, and France.”
Okay, I don’t just want her book. I want her life. Or at least that bio, which make mine tuck its scraggly little tail between its legs and stumble away whimpering.
The book’s reviews are great, too. Here are a few highlights:
“Hilarious…A fun, frothy tale for anyone who has ever conjured up a dashing handsome foreigner to sweep her off her feet. Readers will be happy to live vicariously in Laura's French fairytale.” –Booklist (Aleksandra Kostovski)
“A frothy French confection.” –Publishers’ Weekly
“Laura Florand offers up an outsider’s oddly inside view of Paris, and she does so in a narrative that is by turns witty and touching, but always charming. Best of all, she turns the tables and lets us see our own culture through the fresh, French eyes of the man she loves. Do yourself a favor: Read this book.”--Joshilyn Jackson, best-selling author of Gods in Alabama (*Note from Colleen: I just finished reading this last night, and it’s fantastic! Talk about your terrific Southern characters!)
“I haven’t laughed so hard over the course of an entire book in a long time.” DearAuthor.com
“A fabulous romp from Paris to Podunk and back again. Loved it. Laura Florand’s reluctant heroine is adorable, and her perfect Parisian amour can wait on my table anytime.”--Haywood Smith, New York Times best-selling author of the Red Hat Club series